Pennsylvania’s Patient Test Result Information Act, which is set to take effect December 23, 2018, requires diagnostic imaging services providers that identify a “significant abnormality” in their test results to directly notify the patient or his/her designee within 20 days of the completed test, its review and its delivery to the ordering health care practitioner.  The new law defines the … Continue Reading

The New York State Department of Health recently announced two regulatory enhancements to improve patient access to medical marijuana.

On March 22, 2017, chronic pain was added as a new qualifying condition for patients seeking medical marijuana in New York. “Chronic pain” is defined as “any severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability; where … Continue Reading

Until March 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (the “DOH”) will be accepting applications from companies seeking permits as Grower/Processors and/or Dispensaries of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.  Among other things, these applications require that the applicant raise substantial funding.  To do so, certain applicants have been seeking investment from physicians.  If you receive such a request, we encourage you … Continue Reading

On December 18, 2013, Pennsylvania Act 122 amended the Pennsylvania Clinical Laboratory Act to, among other things, impose licensure requirements on out of state clinical laboratories and to place certain prohibitions on physician financial arrangements with labs.  Among other things, Act 122 prohibits the payment or receipt of commissions, bonuses, kickbacks or fee-splitting arrangements and prohibits laboratories from leasing office … Continue Reading

Many physicians I speak with are still surprised to learn that the federal Stark statute imposes restrictions on income division within group practices.  These restrictions only apply to profits generated from any of the Stark “designated health services” and only those that are covered by Medicare and Medicaid (including managed care), but if your group provides any of these designated … Continue Reading

By Michael J. Coco

What providers and pharmacists don’t know about their employees can hurt them.  That’s the hard lesson learned by a New Jersey pharmacy that had no reason to think the pharmacy it purchased came with an experienced, licensed pharmacist employee with an unsuspected criminal background.  Providers should know that falsifying documents, records and applications is unethical and … Continue Reading

On June 29, 2011, the New Jersey Senate voted to pass Senate Bill No. 2780, which would amend existing New Jersey health care facility licensure statutes to require that one-room surgical practices operating in New Jersey obtain state licensure.  The term “surgical practice” is essentially defined to include any structure or suite of rooms that has no more than one … Continue Reading

According to a new report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Counsel (also known as PHC4), 19 new ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) opened up in Pennsylvania in the past year. This bring the total number of ASCs in Pennsylvania to 262.  According to the report, ASCs generally remain profitable.

Although growth of ASCs means more independence for physicians and more … Continue Reading

For physicians in the process of developing physician-owned hospitals, the race is on to get those facilities up and running by December, 2010. The recently enacted “Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010” amends the Stark law to once and for all prohibit physician-owned specialty hospitals unless: (1) the hospital has a Medicare provider agreement by December … Continue Reading

Among its many provisions, the newly signed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has imposed a new requirement on physicians who rely on the Stark "In-Office Ancillary Services" exception.  Physicians who refer patients for CT, MRI or PET (or other Stark services as designated by the Secretary of HHS) that will be provided by the referring physician’s practice under the Stark In-Office Ancillary … Continue Reading